nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Harriet)
When fandom fails to deliver, sometimes there's no option but to do it yourself. So here's the Elisabeth das Musical*/Discworld Death crossover that apparently no-one else felt the need for.

Beyond the Veil
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Elisabeth - Levay/Kunze, Discworld
Rating: General Audiences, CNTW
Summary: The Empress Elisabeth was dead and Death had come to claim her. But he wasn't quite the anthropomorphic personification that she had been expecting.

For those not familiar with the musical the other Death looks more or less like this. The major costume constant between different productions appears to be copious eyeliner.

*Another musical that has inexplicably failed to make it to the London stage.

Sing La!

Jan. 16th, 2017 12:42 pm
nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Harriet)
Guess who's going to Hamilton next year :-)
nineveh_uk: picture of holly in snow (holly)
I am back from a long weekend in Harrogate with my sisters in celebration of the fact that I have a significant birthday approaching.* I am feeling surprisingly less tired than I might have expected, probably helped by the fact that despite the time of year the trains were civilised so the journeys weren't tiring, even if last minute ticket purchase when I decided that driving wasn't a good idea made them expensive. There is something to be said for enforced sitting down and reading. Middle Sister had donated her work-flights-earned Air Miles to the cause so we had a very nice hotel and I had a bath this morning just because it was there. There was some delicious food, entertaining theatre, and large amounts of nostalgia.

Yesterday involved a walk to Harlow Carr, which we didn't actually go into because this is not really the time of year for a rather expensive garden, but spent much time in its excellent bookshop. My sisters bought various Christmas presents, I bought some lavender-flavoured white chocolate. We took it in terms to comment on the qualities of various cornus in the absence of our mother. Alas, we didn't eat at Betty's because it isn't the time of year you can do that without booking or lots of time, but I had a sausage roll and curd tart, and purchased biscuits of gratitude for a couple of colleagues who have been particularly helpful with big stressful project.**

The main event of the weekend was West Yorkshire Playhouse's production of Strictly Ballroom, which had opened on Wednesday and was enormous fun. Bring on the sequins! On the way back to the station we observed that the long-awaited John Lewis has finally arrived. Honestly, we'd been promised the bloody thing for decades, and then it turns up after my parents leave. The building is genuinely impressive, though; we even admired the car park. It looks like origami done in stone, and yet is strangely in keeping with the buildings around it. Also noted on the way to and from the theatre was the extraordinary extent to which the people of Leeds have embraced the Christmas jumper.

*According to my student self by this point in life I am supposed to have re-read Ulysses and have published a novel. I have decided that the former was a whim, not an obligation, and the second delayed by circumstances beyond my control.

**Technically they were just doing their jobs, but with an unfailing good humour and helpfulness that meant that at least I didn't also have to stress about the photocopying because I could fling it in someone's direction with ten minutes to spare. Material acknowledgement feels warranted.
nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Harriet)
My parents have returned to points north after a weekend visit including a bird reserve, Stowe gardens (for autumn leaves), and Welsh National Opera's Kiss Me Kate. Obviously, I am now knackered, although in fairness to them I was knackered before they arrived. Tomorrow begins [community profile] picowrimo, in which I am determined to pick up some neglected fic*.

With the clocks back it is feeling even more decidedly autumnal than it was last week, when the trees decided that they had had enough of being green and were going to burst into various shades of flame. It is still two months until Christmas, and yet it feels like it is very soon.

Anyway, have some Shakespeare (song starts a minute in).



*And I certainly have a choice of it.
nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Harriet)
It’s the end of term, which means great busyness at work, plus a hectic weekend as my father came to visit. On the downside, I’m tired, though that is partly my fault as I keep not going to bed early enough. On the upside I’ve done some very enjoyable things, and I’m a lot less shattered than I have been at the end of every term for the past umpteen years, on account of my new tablets. Alas their miracle effects don’t include keeping the rain off, but you can’t have everything. It took 48 hours for my shoes to dry after a walk on Saturday in wet grass.

Some things I have seen this week:

Show Boat. Dad came down on Friday night and we went to the Sheffield Crucible production, which has transferred to the New London Theatre. It was utterly fantastic, and it’s a great shame that a production that has been so well-reviewed, of a piece that is not done that often, is closing in August rather than January due to lack of ticket sales. Clearly London audiences are just unadventurous… I admit that I watched the whole thing through a haze of nostalgia for the Opera North/RSC production of the late 80s/early 90s and subsequent family listening to a recording in the car, but everyone else seemed to be having a good time, too. A good solid case saw stand-out performances from Ravenal (a young American singer), Julie and Joe – the latter two understudies, it would be hard to imagine the leads being better. In short, if you’re in London and can see it, do. Here's the trailer, and here's Willard White in concert.

When Marnie Was There To describe something as ‘charming’ often seems a double-edged compliment, with an implication that it may also be rather slight. WMWT is utterly charming on every front, but it is also a serious and thoughtful film. I’d not seen a Studio Ghibli film before and I’m regretting that now, as it looked absolutely gorgeous and was completely worth seeing at the cinema. It’s based on a British children’s story that I’d never read, and which follows a fairly standard ‘lonely girl goes to stay with people in the countryside and meets a mysterious child who lives in an old house’ trajectory, but the depiction of the children’s friendship and their lives is done with a wonderful sensitivity. We saw the subtitled version, trailer here.

Eddie Izzard: Force Majeure It’s not that I’m not accustomed to attending performances in a foreign language – I like opera, after all. It’s just that they often have surtitles, and even then you don’t need to know more than the plot. Whereas this was in German, on account of the titles for the English hour of the three-hour show being sold out.

It turns out that with a little preparation to drag ye olde GCSE more to the forefront of the mind, Eddie Izzard is surprisingly easy to understand in German. For a start, he’s British, so he speaks with the “British person talking foreign” accent that I’m used to. But also the nature of his comedy works well even if you don’t get every world. The conceit of taking a concept and drawing it out to ever-absurder lengths means that as long as you can grasp the concept you can go with it. I got completely lost only at one point when I had absolutely no idea what sort of frantically-digging animal he was on about. The options my brain tried included werewolves, my neighbour guessed crabs – if only I’d stopped trying to think “what does that word sound a bit like?” and gone instead with “which animals famously dig in the way he’s doing an impression of?”, since the answer was moles.

There clearly were more sophisticated jokes and references that the native-speaker portion of the audience was getting and people like me weren’t, but overall I was quite chuffed with my ability to follow what was going on. All I have to do now is spend the weekend reminding myself of such technical details pronoun declensions, verb conjugations, and where you put the second sodding verb before my course next week...
nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Harriet)
To be precise, in Helsinki. If I were the sort of person who obsesses about things in an organised way, I would be spending a long weekend in Helsinki this spring in order to see German vampires in Finnish, and the Finnish National Opera's original production of The Phantom of the Opera.

I was thinking en route to Cotswold Outdoors this morning* while listening to the music of Love Never Dies and trying not to listen to the words**, that it's good thing that I had no internet access in my teenage years or I would have embarrassing teenage PotO fic hanging round me neck, but then I remembered that I did in fact write a piece of PotO fic. In French. In graphic novel form. I've probably still got it somewhere. I was rather proud of it and showed my French teacher, who photocopied it for the class (good) and pointed out that French doesn't use 's for the possessive (less good).

Anyway, for those who wonder what Phantom looks like when not produced by Cameron Mackintosh, here it is. I can't help feeling that the Phantom looks rather like Bryn Terfel as a lank-haired Scarpia.



Of course, the best Finnish version of PotO remains Nightwish...



Not taking up a last-minute Nightwish concert opportunity because I had a cold remains one of the less-good decisions of my life, in that they broke up shortly afterwards.

*Socks, sock liners, and an impulse-purchase laundry bag. Yes, I could make some, but I haven't done so far...

** I have mentioned their direness before, but really they are so, so bad. There is some terrific music, but the book does a "Ron the Death Eater" on Raoul, and the lyrics are unspeakable. Beneath a Moonless Sky is so bad that you'd probably do better to pick a PotO fic at random off FFN and set it to music. I think the only way I could face seeing it live would be in Japanese and prepared to close my eyes when necessary.

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